Monday, July 28, 2014

Bergson Bowling Center : Let’s Get Bowling in Second Life

By Wesley Regenbogen

Bowling, it must be the most famous indoor sport in the USA. Where I live in real life (Belgium, Europe), there are many bowling centers as well. Luckily, you can bowl in Second Life as well. Just head over to Bergson Bowling Center, it’s THE place if you are into bowling.

I’ll explain how you can bowl there in a bit, but first let’s explain some of the terminology that is used in bowling (for those unfamiliar with bowling, that is) :

Strike  all 10 pins are down in one throw)
Split (two outer pins are still standing when thrown)
Spare  (successfully taken down the remaining pins in the second turn)
Double strike (two strikes in a row)
Turkey (three strikes in a row)
Four Bagger (four strikes in a row)
Five Bagger (five strikes in a row)
Perfect Game  (all strikes in the game, meaning it’s the perfect game, 300 points maximum score )
Indian (two pins standing behind each other)

Ok, so now you know the most common terms used in bowling. Now, let me explain how to bowl in Second Life. In Bergson Bowling Center you must first go to the large pin at the left when standing at the door. You then right-click and select “Touch” and a menu will appear. Now choose a lane that is available. Once you have assigned a lane for yourself, head over to the lane and then click on the bowling ball thing right under the scoreboard. Right-click and select “Touch”, once again it gives you a menu. Now select “Ball” and you will be given a bowling ball. Wear it on your avatar to proceed further.

Now choose ( in the same menu, you might need to click it again and re-choose it ) “Start game” and then head to the bowling lane and get to the line there. Now you need to go into “mouselook” mode, you do this by using your scrollwheel on your computer mouse. Once you are into “mouselook” mode, there will be a crosshair in the middle of your screen.

To bowl you must first choose where you want the ball to go. Once you did this, you need to hold down the left mouse button and hold it there until the speed indicator says “100%”, then you can release the left mouse button and your bowling ball will go to the destination you chose earlier.

I know it’s kinda getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it’s fun.

I hope you enjoy your stay at Bergson Bowling Center and we might meet each other there one day. Enjoy and keep on bowling!

Wesley Regenbogen

Friday, July 18, 2014

Space Frontier Saturn V Moon Rocket Ride (2009)

By Bixyl Shuftan

About five years ago was when one of the most impressive space builds I'd come across: an interactive moon rocket ride. Even though it was incomplete, it was still very impressive, and a fitting tribute to the Apollo 11 Moon Landing forty years before. This story was originally published in Second Life Newspaper on July 30, 2009.

*  *  *  *  *

It was about forty years ago last week that Apollo 11 went to the moon, mankind landing on an alien surface for the first time in history. Many of us in Second Life know of space areas, such as the International Space Museum, but can one find a place where the moon landing is re-enacted?

The answer: Yes, but it’s not quite finished.

In the Space Frontier Workspace (formerly known as the Space Frontier Sandbox) near the Sci-Lands, there is a Saturn V rocket on a launch tower. Built to scale (two avatars at it’s base in the picture can just barely be seen), the rocket stands high in the air, connected to the red launch tower. The rocket is very realistically detailed, and includes a “sound HUD” for audio from the Apollo 11 mission (does not always work) which one gets by clicking an old-fashioned computer on the launchpad’s corner. This grand build was made by Wicked Quasimodo.

One enters the rocket by clicking on the command module, almost at the top of the Saturn V. The huge vehicle launches at 32 minutes past the hour, every hour, with the tower’s gantry retracting just a few minutes before. If you’re outside, it’s a spectacular sight as the great behemoth launches into the air. If you’re inside the rocket, you’re in for quite a ride.

I had the fortune of speaking to one of the people responsible for the sim, Rocket Sellers. “I was just mitigating some space debris here,” he told me, “impromptu erotic photo studio in the sky. ... I’m the owner of record here, and there’s a crew with cleaning powers. I try to clean politely so they do not reincarnate as pesky griefers.”

Asking about the Moon rocket, “It’s still a work in progress. This is Version Two. Wicked Quasimodo had an earlier build, but Havoc 4 broke it. This one is lower prim, and the lunar module is sculpty. It really should be on NASA property, but there’s no NASA region that will adopt it. He first tried on the NASA CoLab Testbed, but the sim was just too lagy, and there was just too much junk in the sky. So he began working on it here, with the idea it would find a home at NASA for the Apollo 11 Anniversary. Instead, NASA put some posters around with landmarks to here.”

“The first iteration did the whole flight profile, including splashdown back on Earth. ... The last time I took the trip (on this rocket), we only got to lunar orbit. ... I don’t know if it lands yet or not.” Rocket Sellers then mentioned a famous name dropping in, “Last week, we had an avatar named ‘Buzz Aldrin’ visiting here. I asked him if he had taken the Saturn V Apollo 11 ride to the Moon yet. He answered, ‘Yes, 40 years ago.’ ... I don’t believe it’s really Buzz, although I can’t figure out how he got the name. ... I guess Linden Labs is not assiduous about protecting famous names.”

Rocket Sellers invited me to go along for a ride on the Saturn V, and so we and one other person got aboard the command module. And at 32 past the hour, the rocket roared and thundered up into the air. The ride is best seen with Environment set to Midnight, and being a Second Life spaceship, the stages shake a little as it travels upward. Eventually, the first stage falls away, and then the second. Soon, the ship comes to orbit a megaprim Earth, “It’s very beautiful from up here” “Approaching New Guinea.”

There is a black square under the Moon rocket at this stage. Rocket Sellers explained, “That’s the work platform, and also when you transfer to the Lunar Module, it keeps you from falling through space.” The Command Module does have windows that you can see your avatar from the outside. But looking inside through either mouselook or panning, the inside is quite detailed with numerous instruments and panels.

Eventually, the faring on the last rocket stage separated, and the Lunar Module, folded up, appeared. The Command/Service Module then rotated, and connected to it. Passengers could then right-click to board it. The connected ships then went into Lunar orbit. Unfortunately, the ride did not progress any further. It had yet to be finished.

Despite this and the tiny flaws, this reporter, can only consider it a great and memorable build, especially if one is a space fan, or otherwise nostalgic for these glory days of the manned space program.

The Space Frontier Saturn V Moon Rocket is at Space Frontier (154, 126, 137).

“It’s good when a rocket or space person finds the place.”

Bixyl Shuftan

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Art at the Rose Theater

By Gemma Cleanslate

I was able to spend some time this weekend  at the Art Gallery located in the Rose Theater. These are a set of galleries where most of the exhibitors change monthly. After you recover from looking at the beauty of the build when you arrive in the lobby you can turn left to enter into gallery one and traverse from there through the connecting doors into all the first floor galleries, one after another. Each artist exhibiting has a biography card to introduce their style of the pieces  in that room. You will expedience a myriad of mediums and styles, some bright and precise, some delicate and soft, others striking in their scope. It takes a while to get all the flavors expressed in the pieces. I found myself leaving the region and coming back another time to move through into another gallery. 

There is an artist displaying there that I noticed and liked at the SL11B. One thing that attracted me to the exhibit was that it was in Black and White, shadows and light  and was a story you could follow as you looked at the exhibit. I received a notice that the artist, Ana (oceanida Resident) would be exhibiting at The Rose Theater for another week so don’t miss it . Again, the pieces are a study in light and darkness,  Each one  needs to be perused for its beauty. The story of the underground, how it is to the eyes of those who use it for more than getting to transportation, those disposed who live there. I felt as if I was seeing things I would never have noticed if I were waiting for a train. 

This is one of the most interesting exhibits I have visited in SL.  To then enter into the bursts of color all around in the other gallery rooms is a shock . I spent some time in Gallery 8 where Rage Darkstorm is exhibiting. He says of his work,”My fondest hope is that you will not only see my drawings, but also feel their emotional energy. My hope is that what you witness in my drawings will be your own objects, symbols, and archetypes -- they have emerged unconsciously in me and my artwork. “ 

I will leave the rest of the galleries to your thoughts. You can begin your tour in the lobby . When you arrive  take a left for gallery continue throught the others until you arrive back at your starting point . Then climb the stairs to the upper gallery rooms.  As you pass through the massive hallways watch the walls for some more elegant paintings and biographies set in the title. Most remain on view for about a year or more Ranadeep, the curator,  informed me. You can click for information about the artist. A visit to the sims of Angel Manor gives you lots to explore in the Rose Theater. You will find a link to a map showing the various areas halfway up the stairway. There is also an invite to the group so you can follow the new exhibitors as they arrive . 

Gemma Cleanslate